Tag Archive | Social media

Constantly Connected

Look to your left, and look to your right. One of you is likely busy on your phone. I’m not going to lie: I just checked my phone.

Texting in the Park

Everywhere you look and go, people are constantly communicating. Photo credit to Phil Hutton on Flickr

What’s my point? Everyone, and I mean everyone, has the ability to be constantly connected 24/7. While some may argue that that is bad thing, I would like to look at the positives… sort of. With all the social media available, not including phones that are stuck on the wall (or portable now) in every home, we cannot escape communication. Over the course of a day, I constantly receive text messages, emails, tweets, Facebook updates, and so much more. Some days, I feel bombarded.

Now with this incredible opportunity available, why does it seem that communicating is more of a problem than ever? Thinking back over the last two months, almost every stress in my life, and many of my friends’ lives, has been due to a lack of communication, a miscommunication, or poor communication. How is that possible.

I’m challenging myself (and anyone reading this) to make a concerted effort to communicate and to do it effectively. This means that I am going to take the time to ensure that everyone is on board with what needs to happen/what is happening in all aspects of my life. Lately, I feel that everyone assumes that everybody can read their minds. That seems to be the trend. This only leads to stress for everyone involved. We can send a text, an email, a tweet, a Facebook message, or pick up the ol’ fashion phone and get your ideas/hopes/dreams/expectations/plans/fears/etc. to the people they need to get to. It will make us successful and it will make everyone else around us successful too.

Please note: This post is aimed at a very general audience. I think I can safely say that the contrary is true for communicating with parents. During my internship, parent-teacher communication was absolutely phenomenal and significantly more connected than when I graduated high school four years ago. There are still areas where everyone can improve, but parent-teacher communication is leading by example on extraordinary communication.

Sorry for the rant, but this seems to be something applicable in my life that I needed to reflect on.


Living Facebook

Last night, John Spencer visited our ECMP 455 class, who spoke to us about “Living Facebook.” Basically, his premise was that everything you do on facebook, you do in real life. So for example, if he would have “liked” something on facebook, he would give a big thumbs up and proclaim that he liked something. Similarly, he started writing on people’s walls (window’s actually) with non-permanent markers. He did all sorts of things like this with relation to facebook and how it functions.

This got me thinking about how digitally I interact way more than I do in person. It is so strange how easy and convenient it is to send a text message or write on someone’s wall. It’s very quick to post “Happy Birthday!” when it’s someone’s birthday, but wouldn’t it mean more if I phoned them or just stopped by to say so? What about a good old fashioned card in the mail even. I love to get mail.

With this in mind, I decided that I would make a concerted effort this week to ensure that I am working toward verbalizing or (to invent a new word) “physicalizing ” the cyber space within which I live.

Now, this isn’t to say that I’m sworn off facebook and twitter. I have become pretty attached to them in the last few weeks especially. I’m building my professional community, and I know I have grown up quite a bit just from sharing in this capacity (I’m refering directly to twitter). I also know that there is no way that I could possibly keep up with everyone from all over the world without these social media applications. They definitely have a very distinct purpose in my life. However, why can’t I make the effort to “physicalize” as much as I can for the people around me? This ties into part of my plan for Lent: I decided that this year I was going to give up/improve upon two things. The first is my snooze button. Less than a week into Lent, and this has been HARD. It’s getting easier though. The second thing I am giving up is negativity in my life. Due to this complete 180 that I’ve had in the last few weeks, I’ve worked really hard at building my professional community and now I want to extend these positive changes into my real life too.

This talk couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Thank you, John!